At first blush, you might not think operas and nightclubs would be a natural pairing. But an evening at New York's (Le) Poisson Rouge with Danielle de Niese — the 33-year-old star soprano who calls herself a "diva for the digital age" — proved a blend of uptown music and downtown grit could be just right.
Eclectic music programming with news and interviews on local arts and events, CD and concert ticket giveaways and live in-studio performances. BROADcasting is the operative word here. You can hear just about any form of music on the program ranging from Old-Timey and Bluegrass to classic and contemporary songwriters, Pop, Blues, Soul, Rock, Jazz, Poetry and the Avant Garde.
First Position profiles dancers at the Youth America Grand Prix, a prestigious ballet contest. Rebecca Houseknecht, 17, is a dancer with a lot of talent — and a painful awareness that her chances of signing with a top company are growing slim.
One of the most striking moments early in the documentary First Position comes when a talented ballet student, an 11-year-old boy named Aran, inserts his foot into a sort of clamp that holds it in a mercilessly pointed position.
"This is a foot stretcher," he says. "Hurts a lot."
It's curious that an entire genre of documentary has grown up around endearing kids being pushed hard to achieve in various fields — pushed so hard that the audience is left to wonder whether the pressure might be too much for them.